It’s the time of year when we all start to think about what we’d like to focus on and achieve for the year ahead. Whether you’ve had a crap year or a booming one, when the clock strikes midnight on January 1, it’s an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start fresh with exciting plans and lofty goals.
So what should you be doing next year? Well, if you run a creative business, here are a few big ideas worth pursuing.
Yes, you read that right. You’re probably wondering if we’ve lost our collective minds. Rest assured, we lost our minds a long time ago, but that doesn’t make this recommendation any less valid. As business owners, we’ve been going nonstop on social media for over a decade, trying to keep up with all the platforms, changes, and content being churned out by our competitors. It’s exhausting!
It’s time to slow down and take a different approach. In the process of keeping up, you’ve probably missed out on some of the changes that may be valuable to you, or worse, you learned about them all, and now you’re trying to cram every possible channel and content type into your marketing strategy.
Instead of carrying this over into the new year, take some time this year to get fully acquainted with the social media marketing options available to you, then create a new plan for your business that allows you to spend more time creating valuable content and engaging with a few key audiences, rather than trying to post every day on every platform. The idea of “quality over quantity” may be a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason. It works.
There is a lot of noise and nonsense on the Internet. But there are also some valuable gems too, and when we come across them, it’s like someone lit a fire on a winter night in Iceland. You need to be that fire. Be the post that stops them from clicking and scrolling long enough to pay attention to what you say.
Stop sharing content based on SEO keywords and algorithms and start going deeper. Answer the burning questions, your customers or audience have, be honest and open about the behind-the-scenes activities in your work, get personal and show the human(s) behind the business. Make sure every piece of content is enlightening, educational or entertaining. The more of these you do, the more your brand becomes unique and valuable, and less cookie-cutter. That’s what gets people to care.
The format in which you share your content matter too. For those blogging, experiment with audio and video formats and incorporate unexpected interactive elements into your posts. On Twitter, engage with trending topics and live events in an authentic way, use ‘Giphy’ to create your own GIFs and become a reaction meme icon. On Instagram, embrace the latest trend and 站撸create Instagram stories with powerful CTAs to captivate your audience.
Overall, do the things that get you noticed and get conversations started. Be the brand that not only uses the platform to drive business but the one that feels like an integral part of the community. Be the one worth sharing and talking about, not just the one you double-tap and pass by.
The demand for creatives is growing. Seriously growing. And if these stats are any indication, you’ve seen some growth in the past couple years and you’ll continue to see it in the years to come.
If you’re a freelancer or small business, that should sound like great news, but it also means you’re probably overwhelmed and overworked, and not going to catch a break any time soon. If only there were a way to clone yourself with your knowledge and expertise so you could take advantage of this boom.
There is. Thanks to digital products like online courses, e-books, guides and templates, you can store your knowledge into an easy-to-duplicate format which allows potential customers to get access to you and your work without you having to commit the time to do it.
Not only is creative work in demand, but more entrepreneurs are also seeing the value in having creative skills, such as photography, graphic design and content writing, themselves, but there are a lot out there that still can’t afford to hire you. Creating products that help them do it on their own allows both of you to benefit.
Give some thought to what products you can create next year and fit them into your growth plan.
You know that side project you love daydreaming about but never get around to doing because the timing is never right? Stop making all those excuses and get it done already.
Most creatives who turn their art into jobs start to lose their passion and desire to create after executing their clients’ visions all the time while abandoning their own. A huge part of creativity comes from inspiration and the motivation to create, and if you don’t have it, life can feel more like a slog than the “do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” dream they old you.
Not only will working on your own projects renew the passion and love you have for your work, but it will also show others your hidden talents and skills that may not shine through in your client work — which could open the door for better opportunities more aligned with your skill set and goals.
Another helpful way to renew that zeal in your work is to share your project with others and encourage them to review your work. Not only will positive feedback propel you forward, but you’ll also get an opportunity to teach others and learn from them too.
If you’re comfortable sharing while you’re working on it, then do that. For some, this motivates them, and the feedback from your community can be helpful. If you prefer to do the work in silence before announcing it to the world, that’s fine too. Don’t feel pressured to put your half-finished project out into the world if that’s not what you want. However, that doesn’t stop you from documenting your journey on your own so you can look back at it when you’re done.
Of course, going broke chasing dreams if you can’t pay your bills isn’t recommended, but if you can afford to put off a few clients to make time for your own work, you should. It’s not only beneficial to you now, but it can also be even more lucrative work in the future.
Simply picking one of these suggestions to work for the next year can really make a significant impact on your business moving forward. If you’re struggling with marketing and keeping your calendar, then the first two suggestions are a great place to start. On the other hand, if you have so much work coming in that you’re always two seconds from passing out on your couch, then the last two points are highly worth considering.
Whatever you choose, be sure to write it down and keep track of your progress, or it may just become another abandoned new year resolution you’ll regret not pursuing